On the most important game of the season (until the next one), the Sabres were able to pull themselves to victory in a rather dramatic fashion. With a pair of goals by Tyler Ennis and an overtime winner from Tyler Myers, the Sabres bounced Montreal and their fans out into the March rain, souring with a loss. Ryan Miller had yet another solid outing, sealing a win with 26 saves on 28 shots.
Having missed the first period, I came home to find the Sabres down 1-0, but out shooting the Canadiens by 8. The Sabres were put in the hole in the first period by Cole and were not able to get anything out of their first 14 shots on net.
Now, to the stuff that I actually saw. The Sabres were putting on a forechecking clinic. The second had a lot of solid forechecking from the Sabres, especially from the Ennis line and the Leino line. The strong puck control finally led to some action on the score sheet with one of the prettiest goals for the Sabres this season as Ennis danced around Markov after receiving a pass at the blue line from Stafford. By the end of the sequence of dekes, I was surprised Markov still had clothes on. Ennis just undressed the man. Ville Leino continued his impressive play, with puck control that was so dominant, that at one point he had what looked like a two minute shift of him just dangling it around helpless members of the Canadiens. Even with a pair of penalties and some truly inspired play, the score remained tied going in to the third.
In the third, Ennis found the net a second time, this time off of a Canadien defenseman on a fluky goal. It looked like a sure thing for Foligno if the pass had snuck through the crease, but it ended well for the the Sabres, so I won’t dwell. After 19:56 of end to end hockey in the third period, including two penalties that resulted in four on four play sandwiched between twenty second power plays, Desharnais scored in a mad scramble in front of the net. The Canadiens had three golden opportunities in that sequence before burying it.
In overtime, Roy and Pominville rushed down the ice in a 2-2 situation. With Pominville driving hard to the net, he opened up a passing lane for Tyler Myers to catch a tape to tape pass from Roy at the top of the far circle and fire a blistering wrister past Budaj in the slot. That sealed the win for the Sabres that should have occurred in the first 60.
Positive Notes: Tyler Myers is a force. Tyler Ennis can really skate. The Foligno, Ennis, Stafford line has made Stafford look like a potent offensive presence. The Sabres have only lost once to the Canadiens in their last eight meetings and that was few weeks ago in a shoot out. The Habs are the new Leafs for the Sabres. The Sabres actually looked like the better team. This has happened several times in the last month (I like it). The Sabres are two points out of the playoffs. Foligno looks like he is in it for the long haul. The Deutsche Duo is a dandy defensive tandem, ja?
Negative Notes: FINISH IT IN REGULATION PLEASE! CoHo still has 0 points and spent most of the game on the fourth line. The offense looks good, but they need more finish right now. The Sabres are still two points out of the playoffs. There are 12 games left. F’N Center needed less Hab fans.
Random Notes: Desharnais and Budaj are names that I wish were on the Sabres, only because they are awesome to say. The Sabres could make history with a playoff run, but don’t expect a History will be made commercial, because the NHL will not continue with those.
Late Night/Early Morning Jamz: Russian Spies by Against Me!